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The Varieties of Transcendence$
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Hermann Deuser, Hans Joas, Matthias Jung, and Magnus Schlette

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267576

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267576.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Pragmatism, Naturalism, and Genealogy in the Study of Religion

Pragmatism, Naturalism, and Genealogy in the Study of Religion

(p.105) Pragmatism, Naturalism, and Genealogy in the Study of Religion
The Varieties of Transcendence

Wayne Proudfoot

Fordham University Press

This chapter considers the importance of a form of naturalistic thinking to the understanding of pragmatism and religion. It distinguishes between “naturalistic accounts of beliefs and practices as products of humans regarded as natural creatures and the naturalizing of concepts, beliefs, and practices in a way that assumes them to be naturally given and occludes their social and historical origins and development.” It highlights a structural affinity between scientific naturalism and other forms of foundationalism and argues that a properly naturalistic account of human affairs, and particularly of religious attitudes, actions, and beliefs, consists in “historicizing what has previously been naturalized.” It compares John Dewey's philosophical approach to religion with Friedrich Nietzsche's genealogical method and explains how Nietzsche's genealogy and the work of scholars in the humanities and social sciences to historicize what has been naturalized contribute to the scientific study of humans as natural creatures.

Keywords:   pragmatism, religion, naturalism, foundationalism, human affairs, John Dewey, Friedrich Nietzsche, genealogy, humans, natural creatures

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